Cargo cabana

Limits can be liberating, as this cool retreat in Sri Lanka shows. It is built from materials found on and around the building site, including a pair of cargo containers and the deconstructed remnants of old wooden weapons boxes.

cargo container jungle home

Designed by Damith Premathilake (photos by Logan MacDougall Pope, via Inhabitat), no skilled labor was required to construct this modest 700-square-foot waterfront retreat with associated porches and decks.

Created for all regional weather conditions, an open-but-shaded, second-story deck sits atop the rigid shell formed by the container, providing as much outdoor as interior space – well-suited to the tropical climate of the area.

cargo container porch deck

“While the client and Architect were having a discussion about the renovation project near the lake front, the client did not forget to talk about the tranquillity of the surrounding setting. Our discussion took place in an ideal setting, endorsing the need to enhance this character architecturally, and to create a place for relaxation with the lake front.”

“There were some container boxes abandoned after the war. They were lying close by and not being used. The container boxes with their enormous interior space could provide the Architect with an excellent opportunity to design a setting using them as part of the created space.”

“The Architect drew the conceptual sketch considering the entire natural and manmade elements already available in the surroundings. The Architect advised the client to find the material such as timber strips from the old bunkers and weapon boxes, old used ‘H’ irons, steel rods, and used railway sleepers for the interior and exterior. The idea was to create the space using the available resources in the surrounding environment.”

“But the most challenging task for me in this scheme was to create a resting place that could enable the visitor to experience the environmental quality and the space without making any interruption or damage to the existing natural ambience.”